Whether it's your first, last, or something else in-between, the first day of school is something truly special. It keeps us awake the night before and it may wake us up early the next morning. The uniqueness of day one cannot be understated. And truthfully, for many of us the first day of school can be a really long day.
My goal for tomorrow is to make it the best long day I've ever had.
The first day brings great opportunities to everyone involved. Many of our students are looking for a fresh start after a long summer. For some, especially our freshmen, it's a chance to prove to their "world" they have become someone different- perhaps a better version of themselves. Some of our kids need school as an escape and a safe haven. After all, our space may be the most consistent and comforting place in their lives. Others are ready to wear their best outfit to school or show off their patiently crafted summer tan. There is anxiety in their world- but it's a positive energy that's fun and exciting, until you jam a locker.
Our faculty and staff also have an open door to opportunity. Younger teachers have a chance to hone their craft and solidify their place, their voice, and their passion. Veteran teachers have a chance to innovate and bolster the experienced skill set they have developed over time. There's new initiatives, new state testing, and new faces everywhere. But in reality, when the door shuts the goal remains the same- run through walls for the kids, every one of the kids, because they need us.
Oh, and we will all screw up along the way. Teachers will mispronounce names and students will get lost in the halls. Schedules will be changed and we will find mistakes we made in planning over the summer. There are bound to be parent phone calls and paperwork still missing. This is a familiar place for us as former students and now educators.
Yes, the American public school is alive and well. We aren't the online virtual school of the future, but we sure are connected- connected by commonalities that we have all experienced.
The last "first day" happened just long ago that I am still jittery for tomorrow. The unknown is what makes me nervous, but the opportunity is what brings great excitement and anticipation. What other profession could boast having a day at work like this...every year?
If the eleven-year-old version of myself could hear me now, he would shake his head. But I would have to admit: I cannot wait for school tomorrow.
I have a feeling we are among the first schools to get started. To all those starting now and in the coming weeks, have an awesome first day and an even better school year! #leydenpride